Friday July 2 Day 27
The LLM and I go to Aria. Bob, a Mirage AM regular and Aria mid-day regular, who talks just like the guy from "King of the hill" ...(the blonde guy you can't understand) is at our table...LLM knows him from all his hours at the mirage. It's an uneventful table until BB (Buxom Brunette) sits down. I'm in the 4 seat, she's in the 2 seat and she STRADDLES (this is a 4-8 limit half kill game) her first hand. I raise with 87s, and it's 4 ways to the flop.....I flop 2 pair, on an 875 board. BB called my raise with 9-6, and has flopped a straight. I turn a boat, and drag a huge pot.
About this time, I hear someone mention the Aria Classic, and the 8-game tournament. I thought the 8 game was on Saturday, but it is in fact today. I have been drinking, and I really wanted to play the 8game. It starts at 5PM, and it is now 3PM, and I have had 4 Myers and Pineapples (Aria makes a GREAT drink. I have to decide to either sober up, or miss yet another tournament. I look at the structure sheet, and see that they have replaced 7-2 triple draw with Badugi. It is a GREAT structure (50 minute blind levels) and I haven't played many tournaments on this trip, so I decide to straighten uo and play. My mind tells me with this structure, it's going to be a LOOOOOOOOONG tournament, yet it starts at 5, and is a '1-day' event. I pay my 550$ entry, and trek over to the CityCenter convention area. This is the third largest buy-in event I have ever played out-of-pocket (2 WSOP Horse events, and a huge 5600$ entry I won for the Sydney No Limit event) so I am a bit nervous despite the cocktails.
Turns out only 38 people have ponied up, and we are in this enormous room.
I start in the 3 seat. The one seat is a loud-mouthed but funny guy who has bet *15000*$ total on 3 baseball games, and is constantly telling people who are blocking his view of the TV to get out of the way. He is a local who moved there from fall River Ma. Seat two is a Jersey middle aged woman who is in every hand. She tells us she has in the past 5 years lost 120 pounds. She is wearing a blue satiny top that is unbuttoned one button too many (maybe 2 buttons for her)
We start with 15k in chips, and needless to say, despite the fact that 2 of the games are PLO and NL Holdem, exits are few and far between.....After 4 hours, we go on our second break, I am down to 5200. I go for a smoke and tell myself I am not playing any more bad cards. The next hand I get involved in is a 7-stud hilo hand where I start with 4 low cards, make a 7-straight, and scoop. I'm on the comeback trail, with a triple up to 16200.
I lose some chips in razz, but make a 7-6 in badugi to comeback again and get almost to the chip average in hour 7. I'm at 20k with 24 players left.
During Hour 9, This German Euro Middle (GEM) aged guy and I go to a holdem flop. He was very aggressive and raises, and I call in the BB with j9 suited. Flop is AA2 and i check, he fires and I call, thinking he has no ace, and my call will slow him down. turn is a nine....I check he bets I call again.....river is a blank, I check, he checks and shows kj and my 9s are good...I am up to 35k! It is 1AM!!!
I lose half my chips in various hands...
In NL HE, Hour 10, I limp with 87 flop is 643, and I call a small bet in a 3 way pot (one of them is GEM) The turn is a gorgeous 5, GEM bets, I go all in, 3rd guy folds, he calls, (with a 7) and I flip over 87 for the bigger straight.....and I am back to 35k....at 2AM.
I have been getting moved tables hourly, and am now at a table with a 40-ish guy in a dress shirt and fedora. This guy looks like HArrison Ford circa 1981. I had played with him hours ago, and now am once again at his table....he had been doing great, but now is short-stacked. We get into a brainfuck hand (7-stud hilo is locally known as that) and I make another lo-straight. He opens his velise, whips out a book, autographs it, including the cards with the hand we played, and hands it to me. turns out his name is John Blowers, and the book is Life on Tilt (lifeontilt.com) and is a quasi-auto-bio that relates marriage to poker. Thanks John (great book by the way.)
I win a few more pots in O/8, razz, PLO and Brfc, and at 4 AM make the final table! In fact we went from 9 to 7 on one hand, so we start the final table 7-handed (8 game is an 8-seat tournament table)
Only 5 spots get paid, so I ain't done nothin yet.
GEM is the chip leader, and a yougn attractive (korean?) girl (YKG) has a lot of chips as well. It's a dogfight, and we play for 45 minutes until someone gets knocked out.
I play tightly, and survive to the money Hooray! It is 5:10 am!
Everyone is exhausted, but a russian guy will not even DISCUSS a chop, so after break, we play on.
I lose a bunch of chips in a BrnFk hand when had I merely checkraised this guy, I KNOW he would have folded. But the Russian non-chopper ends up busting, and we are 4-handed.
In Badugi, YKG is small blind and I am big. 2 folds to her, and she raises me....I only have one bet left so I call. She stands pat, and I draw twice, making a queen high badugi. Basically, the only thing I can beat is a K-high......so I draw again....don't get there......she of course shows the King-high. I would have won had I held pat. No Matter.......I cash at 6:20 am after 13 hours and 20 minutes. 1751 for my 550.....I leave Aria bleary eyed, and drive up the strip to downtown and my bed. I could have used all 3 lanes on the strip as there is NOBODY out at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning. In fact, I was so beat, I MAY have used all 3.
I eat the buffet at Main Street Station (there were NO food breaks during the tourney, which, otherwise, was VERY well run) then go to bed until 8PM
Up at 8, need to pick up the GF at McCarran at 10...I head over to the Eastside Cannery after picking up 200 at VP at Main St. St. I lose back my profit there and head to the airport. We go out to the bootlegger Bistro way south on LV BLVD. We head back to MSS and I lose 800 at 1$ 10/7 DB before going back to bed at 230AM. After 28 days I am up 13200.
Sunday july 4th Day 29
Lost 490 having coffee at MSS at VP; GF and I pick up the LLM and head to the Mirage for poker. after 25 minutes of RULING at the 3-6 table,(+82) I sit down with the LLM at the 4-8 1/2 kill game and win 1 pot in 4 hours to lose 352.
Then I quickly win 100 on one craps roll, lose 124 at roulette (single 0) and win 90 at BJ.
We head to the Palms and the 3 of us get Mex. I pick up 550 at VP. I'm beat....end of Sunday
Monday 7/5 Day 30.
Up early and I drop 800 at VP playing a still-un-ripe 8k Royal 97 percent dollar VP machine; Head to the Gold Coast where the LLM is staying and win 200 back at VP. back to the Mirage, where I win 10$ at 3-6 then burn some comps with LLM and GF at Outback at Casino Royale. I then play Super Aces VP and make some quads in the new Casino Rooyale 'hi-limit' area (just opened last week) and profit 1400.
We leave the LLM and check in to M resort.
I play Super Aces at M and hit 4 aces for a grand, cash out up 660 for the session....end of day...up 14688 for the trip.
Tues 7/6 day 31 errand day.
While GF gets spa treatment, I have to trade in my rental car, as there is a 1-month max. I stop at XCAL after this, and make about 100 playing BJ. Back to M, I play Super Aces and profit 770 after being down 2500! Got quad aces 3 times in an hour to dig out of a huge hole (triple play).
I lose 220 on the D-backs vs cubs, and have a yummy M buffet with the GF.
Then, a new experience. I promised the GF I would play BINGO with her on this trip. We hit the 11 PM Gold Coast Bingo hall. Bingo was fun, but a -24$ experience.
LLM is leaving town in the AM, so I give him the money I've been holding for him in my Mirage box and bid adieu.
Back at M, I make 100 bucks at the 1-2 NL table..then sit down back at Super Aces to relax before bed. I am dealt 3 aces, and pull a fourth ace on *2* of the 3 hands for 2 grand. Man M has been good to me.
I hit the hay at the highest point of my trip, up 17397. But ugliness is just around the corner!
End of Part 5
Next up: Hidden Valley ranch losses (Green Valley Ranch), my birthday is horrific, gambling wise, Binion's Classic Horse, and a bluff as good as Moneymaker's!